There are some dogs that just can’t seem to stay in one place. They may dig under your fence to escape, or jump the fence. Some dogs break through electric fences or wait for the perfect opportunity to slip out the door before you can catch them. Canine escape artists can be difficult for pet owners to understand. They wonder why their dog doesn’t want to stay with them. The truth is, most dogs escape for reasons that have nothing to do with their owners. Dogs run away for many reasons including chasing prey, mating, breed tendencies, and natural curiosity. It is important to set proper boundaries for your dog early on, and take the necessary measures to keep your dog safe and sound on your property.
Causes of Runaway Dogs
Dogs at times can run away from home. You get worried because you can’t find them. Why do they run away? There could be a few reasons why dogs tend to escape. Some of the reasons can be prevented, others maybe a bit harder to control.
- Nature Takes Over - One reason a dog may run away is it is male and it smells a female in heat. A dog will go with basic instinct and try to locate this female. Usually this comes about because the female is not fixed yet and has had a menstrual cycle. The smell that the female puts off draws the male enough to where he will runaway from home to reach her.
- Curiosity - Another reason that dogs can run away has to do with just being curious. If the owner does not have a fence in place or leaves the front door open for example, a dog may tend to venture off. The dog that does this may return and sometimes may not. The curiosity in some breeds drives them to want to explore, causing a lost pet.
- A Bad Home Environment - A dog will also escape a household where it is being abused. The behavior a dog can develop after it is abused varies, but some tend to run to get away. When this happens it maybe very hard to find where the dog escaped. Taking notice of the dog’s behavior will help detect if this could be a situation that will occur in the future.
- Digging Instinct - Last, some dogs enjoy digging and just getting out of a fenced area. The dog will dig until it gets out and away it goes. There are some breeds that naturally wish to dig, preparation for those breeds will help prevent future escapes.
Prevention is the Key
There is nothing more frustrating than finding out that your dog is missing, or watching helplessly as your dog disappears around the corner after a fast escape. Some dogs are known escape artists; these dogs will tunnel under fences, scale walls, or they calculate how long a door remains open so that they can make their quick get away. Other dogs seem to escape by accident; they take off after another dog, they excitedly run out the door after their favorite person, or they leave when a gate is left open.
There are many things that pet owners can do to help keep their dog from escaping and from falling into dangerous situations. The first part of escape prevention is to provide a secure environment. All leashes and collars should be regularly checked for frays and possible breaks; old leashes and collars should be replaced. Gates need to have secure locks, and children in the household need to be taught how to secure the gates and keep the doors closed. Baby gates in the house can also help to keep the dog away from open doors or from running out of the doors at opportune moments.
Some dogs are intent on escaping no matter what. In these instances electric fencing is an effective way to prevent escaping. This type of escape prevention tool is especially helpful for pet owners that have dogs which can climb fences or continually dig under fences. Electric fencing provides an invisible barrier that gives the dog a mild shock when he or she approaches the barrier; a collar worn by the dog activates the barrier. No other animals, or people, will be affected by the electric fencing.
In some cases dogs escape because they are bored or they need more exercise. To keep your dog from resorting to escape out of boredom, take your dog on plenty of walks, give your dog different toys to play with, or consider joining a pet park where your dog can meet and play with other dogs.